Amnesty urges limits on US police use of stun guns
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS PhotoAmnesty International Wednesday urged tighter limits on police use of electrical weapons, two days after a US man became the 500th person to die in 11 years after being subdued by police using what is meant to be nonlethal force.
Amnesty "repeated its call for tighter limits on police use of the weapons," a statement said, after the death Monday in Alabama of a man who stopped breathing after he was zapped twice and was declared dead two hours later.
Data collected by Amnesty showed that at least 500 people have died since 2001 after being shocked with Tasers or similar electrical weapons, after their arrest or incarceration.
The weapons are popular with authorities because they are supposed to be nonlethal.
"Of the hundreds who have died following police use of Tasers in the United States, dozens and possibly scores of deaths can be traced to unnecessary force being used," said Susan Lee, Americas program director at Amnesty International.
"This is unacceptable, and stricter guidelines for their use are now imperative," she stressed.
The man who died Monday, Johnnie Kamahi Warren, was unarmed and apparently drunk, was hit with an electric shock twice in Dothan, Alabama.